Now that I was funded, it was all systems go.

We rented a building, put a huge sign on the roof, covered the windows with decals, and filled the store with products.

"Syndicate Store - Australia's Rider-Owned Scooter Shop" was officially open for business from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week.

We were off to an incredible start. The combination of regular events and a huge online presence through Instagram and YouTube even had kids from other countries begging their parents to stop in at our store while on holidays in Brisbane. This was actually a quite common occurrence.

But the ruthless treadmill of working in my own retail store swept me up. I remember working something like 40 days straight only taking Christmas Day off. While others slept, ate, partied and lived their lives I just kept on working. When the store closed for the day I'd start filming YouTube videos and from the second I got home I was on the laptop figuring out ways I could improve the website.

And for a long time, I didn't care. I was making a living working for myself, being my own boss, and selling scooters. And to be honest, for the most part, I was loving it.

Also, it was working. We were growing rapidly, and I had my eye on the prize. There was nothing I wanted to do more than work on my business and prove everyone wrong who told me that my vision wasn't worth anything. Eventually, we moved from our humble little retail store to a huge two-story warehouse that was three times the size, and double the price, unfortunately.

The growth justified the expansion, but the growth didn't persist. The industry experienced a huge downturn, and we had customers pull out of large preorders for stock we had already committed to importing. It was the perfect storm. We lost an insane amount of money by breaking our lease, and we moved back into the tiny shop right next door to where we started. The industry bounced back, and so did we, but the roller coaster had shaken us.

We were making good money and stood to make a lot more but we just couldn’t keep it going. Our business was all about riding scooters yet here we were trapped in a prison of our own making for six to seven days a week spending more time peeling crusty old grip tape off customers scooters than we did riding our own.

A serious change was definitely needed.

Finding Freedom is meant to be read in the following order:
Petition,  Dedication,  Conviction,  Exodus,  Competition,  
Treason,  Funding,  Physical,  Virtual,  Exponential.
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